Banking, finance and capital markets in Iceland

BBA//Fjeldco

The banking, finance and capital markets team at BBA//Fjeldco is led by Ásgeir Ragnarsson and Halldór Karl Halldórsson, who specialise in company law and restructuring issues respectively. The group's client roster encompasses high-profile global clients including Citibank and JP Morgan, and the practice has an excellent track record in complex financing structures and regularly handles cross-border debt issuances, refinancings and assists with listing Icelandic companies on Nasdaq OMX. In a recent highlight, the team provided advice to ABN AMRO, BNP Paribas, Danske Bank, HSBC, ING Bank, Rabobank and UniCredit on the provision of a €700m syndicated credit facility for food processing company Marel. Gunnar Thor Thorarinsson is the go-to contact for insolvency matters.

Practice head(s):

Ásgeir Ragnarsson; Halldór Karl Halldórsson

Other key lawyers:

Gunnar Thor Thorarinsson

Key clients

Kvika bank hf.

Íslandsbanki hf.

European Investment Bank

ABN AMRO

Danske Bank

Reykjavík Data Center hf

DC Advisory

Asian Development Bank

RPC Group PLC

Alvogen and Alvotech

Barclays Bank plc

Arion Bank hf.

JP Morgan

Citibank

HSBC

Nordic Investment bank

Japan Bank

BNP PARIPAS

Stefnir hf.

Microsoft

Rabo Bank

Work highlights

  • Advising ABN AMRO, BNP Paribas, Danske Bank, HSBC, ING Bank, Rabobank and UniCredit on the provision of a €700m sustainability-linked syndicated credit facility to Marel.
  • Acted as lead counsel for Arion Bank hf. as lender on providing a multicurrency loan to Flugleiðahótel hf. (Icelandair Hotels), one of the largest hotel groups in Iceland.
  • Advising Reykjavík DC hf. on the building of a new high-tech data centre in Reykjavík, and the entry into a design and build agreement with ICTRoom Company BV; financing agreements with Íslandsbanki hf.; a power purchase agreement with Landsvirkjun; and a transmission agreement with Landsnet.

Lex Law Offices

The 'very experienced' banking, finance and capital markets group at Lex Law Offices is led by corporate finance expert Ólafur Haraldsson. Representing underwriters, issuers and investors in relation to IPOs, bonds and refinancing mandates, the team counts Citibank Europe, JP Morgan and Barclays Bank on its client roster. The team also assists with the entry of domestic corporations on international stock exchanges; it recently worked on Icelandic Seafood International's OMX Nasdaq listing. Stefán Orri Ólafsson, who is an expert in the disclosure requirements of regulated securities markets, and Supreme Court attorney Guðmundur Ingvi Sigurðsson are other key contacts.

Practice head(s):

Ólafur Haraldsson

Other key lawyers:

Stefán Orri Ólafsson; Guðmundur Ingvi Sigurðsson

Testimonials

‘They are very experienced in this field. They have in-depth knowledge and are a significant presence in the Icelandic market.’

Key clients

Arion Bank

Landsbankinn

Citibank Europe PLC

JP Morgan

Solo Holding

Barclays Bank PLC

Iceland Seafood International

The Icelandic Depositors’ and Directors’ Guarantee Fund

Central Bank Asset Management Company

Brimilshólmi

Work highlights

  • Acted as Icelandic counsel for Citibank and JP Morgan as underwriters on the public offering and secondary listing of Marel.
  • Acted for Barclays Bank PLC as joint lead manager on a €500m sovereign debt issuance by the Republic of Iceland.
  • Acted for Iceland Seafood International in connection with the listing of the company on Nasdaq’s main market in Iceland and the public offering of new shares.

LOGOS

Operating from Reykjavik and London, the banking, finance and capital markets team at LOGOS is jointly led by Thórólfur Jónsson and Óttar Pálsson. Counting Goldman Sachs and Barclays on its client portfolio, the group regularly handles substantial Icelandic DCM and ECM deals and also provides regulatory assistance on funds and borrowing mandates; it also recently established a banking task force which is aimed at lender clients. The practice also advises clients from the energy sector and attracts a significant amount of work from the aviation and technology industries. Securities specialist Guðbjörg Helga Hjartardóttir is another key contact.

Practice head(s):

Thórólfur Jónsson; Óttar Pálsson

Other key lawyers:

Guðbjörg Helga Hjartardóttir

Testimonials

‘The team at Logos is one of the best in Iceland in this area. They have extensive knowledge of the topics, are thorough, responsive and solution driven. The partner is hands on and guides the team such that the demands of the clients are met. No other firm in Iceland is better than the Logos team in this area.’

‘Óttar Pálsson is the stand out partner. He is extremely knowledgeable, reliable and thorough. Great work ethic and solution driven. He pushes his team to be the absolute best.’

‘What makes this practice unique is its comprehensive areas of practice, expertise in a wide range of industries, many highly regarded partners and associates, professionalism and its offices in Iceland and London.’

‘Guðbjörg Helga Hjartardóttir provides in-depth work of excellent quality and “best in class” legal advice.’

Key clients

Arion bank

Kaupthing

Goldman Sachs International

Deutsche Bank

Alfa Framtak

Crowberry Capital

Marel

Landsnet

Landsvirkjun

Icelandair

Novator Partners

Verne Global Data Centres

Origo

New Business Venture Fund

Kerecis

Barclays

Work highlights

  • Acted as Icelandic counsel to Landsnet on its private placement of notes totalling $100m to international institutional investors.
  • Assisted Landsvirkjun with the issuance of $80m senior unsecured notes in the US Private Placement market to US and UK institutional investors.
  • Advised joint lead managers Barclays Bank plc, Goldman Sachs International and Morgan Stanley & Co. International plc, on the issuance of US denominated additional tier 1 convertible notes by Arion bank hf.

ADVEL Attorneys at Law

ADVEL Attorneys at Law handles a range of key work including financing mandates, reorganisations, long-term loan facilities and M&A issues. Led by Kristinn Hallgrímsson, the 'highly respected' team includes Stefán Þór Ingimarsson, who is a corporate law expert and was recently involved in the establishment of an EMTN programme. The practice also acts for other key players in the Icelandic economy including Samskip, Hampidjan and Reitir Real Estate, and assists foreign corporates with Icelandic interests. Árni Freyr Árnason is also a key name to note.

Practice head(s):

Kristinn Hallgrímsson

Other key lawyers:

Stefán Þór Ingimarsson; Árni Freyr Árnason

Testimonials

‘Advel is not the largest law firm in Iceland. However their corporate team is comprised of highly respected and seasoned and dedicated individuals with extensive experience in working for some of the largest corporates in Iceland on a wide range of projects. For this reason they would always be my first choice when looking for a corporate legal team in Iceland’

‘Really top services rendered by top human beings. Lawyers become friends.’

Key clients

Arion banki

Hampidjan

Advania Group

Reitir Real Estate

N1 hf.

HB Grandi hf.

Oryggismidstodin

Invent Pharma Group

Samskip

Juris

Jointly led by Halldór Jónsson, Andri Árnason and Sigurbjörn Magnússon, the 'extremely professional and reliable' team at Juris acts for a range of longstanding clients including Íslandsbanki and Landsbankinn. Handling forensic investigations and large-scale financings, the group advises leading domestic players in the shipping, energy, hospitality and infrastructure sectors and handles property developments; it also has significant experience in cross-border transactions, including those pertaining to major international investments. Simon Knight and Vifill Harðarson are dual qualified in Iceland and England, while key consultant Katherine Nichols is dual qualified in England and the Republic of Ireland.

Practice head(s):

Halldór Jónsson; Andri Árnason; Sigurbjörn Magnússon

Other key lawyers:

Simon Knight; Vífill Harðarson; Katherine Nichols

Testimonials

‘Extremely professional and reliable. Through the years we have been able to trust in Juris in every situation we have faced. Compared to other firms their answers/documents stand out in a way since they are really well written and well thought through.’

‘All the individuals we have worked with in Juris are great people, we can rely on them at any time, they are easy to speak to. Compared to other firms they stand out in terms of accuracy and professionalism. They are all really trustworthy.’

‘In our view Juris has a very competent and professional practice which offers good value for money. They are not the biggest law practice in Iceland, but they are big enough to tackle the projects in this market. Their service is personal and they focus on their customers.’

Key clients

Borgun

Bakkastakkur

Summa rekstrarfélag

Kaupþing

Sunnuvellir

Rammi

Birgir Þór Bieltvedt

Íslandsbanki

Landsbankinn

Eyja fjárfestingafélag III

Megafone ehf. (formerly Aurora Stream ehf.)

Work highlights

  • Advised on Sunnuvellir’s interest in Silicor’s proposed $900m solar silicon plant in Iceland.
  • Represented Landsbankinn in an ISK4bn claim regarding pension fund losses.
  • Acted for Eyja fjárfestingafélag and related parties in the share sale and purchase of Domino’s Pizza in Sweden and Norway.

Lagahvoll

Demonstrating notable expertise in bond issuances, M&A transactions, start-up finance work and venture agreements, the team at Lagahvoll is jointly led by Daði Bjarnason and Jóhann Tómas Sigurðsson. The group is also well-versed in matters pertaining to the Alternative Investment Fund Managers Directive as well as the evaluation of companies targeted for acquisition. Clients also benefit from its strong track record in share purchasing and shareholder agreements.

Practice head(s):

Daði Bjarnason; Jóhann Tómas Sigurðsson

Testimonials

‘Better than the others I have instructed!’

‘Outstanding team!’

Key clients

Félagsbústaðir hf.

Verðbréfamiðstöð Íslands hf.

Dohop hf.

Múlakaffi

Beka ehf.

Vistbyggð ehf.

Félag eldri borgara og nágrenni

Gleðipinnar ehf.

Flotferðir ehf.

HT 1 ehf.

Work highlights

  • Advised Félagsbústaðir on its bond issuances, with the issuances in 2019 and 2020 being the first social bonds issued by a domestic issuer under a Social Bond Framework based on ICMA Social Bond Principles.
  • Advised Dohop on its financing from easyJet and advising the company on further financings and other legal matters.
  • Advised Gleðipinnar ehf. on its merger with Foodco ehf., creating a ISK6bn food and entertainment company in Iceland.